Pakistan: Damages suffered due to Jaranwala blasphemy incident amount to PKR 67 million

pakistan churches christians

In the Jaranwala blasphemy incident, the damages suffered due to the burning of churches and the houses of minorities has been estimated to be  Pakistani Rupees (PKR) 67 million, reported Dawn. 

According to estimates compiled by Faisalabad’s district administration, at least 22 churches were ransacked by mobs which suffered damages to the tune of PKR 29.1 million whereas 91 houses bore the brunt of violence and suffered losses to the tune of PKR 38.5 million. 

Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul Haq Kakar visited Jaranwala on Monday to express solidarity with the Christian community, days after the mobs attacked the house and churches over allegations of blasphemy. 

However, Kakar also distributed compensation cheques to the victims’ families whose houses were burnt down by the violent mobs, Dawn reported. 

Moreover, the list of items destroyed by the mob included fans, air-conditioners, water filter plants, generators, carpets, furniture, and other electrical appliances.

The interim PM said that it was the duty of the state to protect the lives and properties of religious minorities. 

“It is the responsibility of the government to ensure the safety of every citizen,” PM Kakar said.

Moreover, the premier distributed cheques for PKR 2 million each among the members of the Christian community whose houses were destroyed during the violence, according to Dawn. 

During a ceremony, Punjab Caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi said that police are finding the suspects with the help of CCTV footage and geo-fencing. He also said that the culprits would be punished under the law. 

He added that financial assistance would be provided to each victim.

A total of 19 churches were fully gutted and 89 Christian houses were burnt down to ashes in recent violence targeting the Christian community in Jaranwala in Faisalabad, according to a fact-finding report of the Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP).

The HRFP report stated that on August 16 Jaranwala mob attacked churches and Christians, a total of 19 churches were burnt fully while two churches and some prayer rooms/community halls were also affected.

The report stated that over 10,000 Christians had hid in sugar cane and other fields, during the first nights of attack.

The HRFP added that its report was based on direct information and evidence through the fact-finding mission trip to the sites of the incident, interviews of victims, families, local residents, church leaders, neighbourhoods, journalists, police officials, local authorities, political workers and different stakeholders, Dawn reported. 

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